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The Gallery Gazetteer


No More Rights in Republicanland

by Eve Jégou



Loose Lips Do Sink Ships
Installation view, Laurel Gitlen, New York

I was walking on Broome Street, looking for the Laurel Gitlen gallery and I probably passed it without noticing it. Thanks to my pocket map of New York, I finally found my way to see Michael Patterson-Carver's new solo exhibition, "Loose Lips Do Sink Ships."

The entrance of the gallery does not look like the snazzy ones in Chelsea; it's a bit dilapidated and it's in a red-brick building where there is still an old banner saying "A & G Infants' and Children's Wear" above the building entrance.

I pushed the door--glad to find some heat after a hard walk against the freezing wind--and it was the beginning of an incredible voyage through the Michael Patterson-Carver's political activist drawings.

"And Then, They Finally Came for Me"— 2010
Ink, pencil and watercolor on paper - 10 x 14 1/4 inches (25.4 x 36.2 cm)

More than a dozen small drawings are hanging on walls and all look like the work of children, but only for the first quick look. As we get closer to these cartoonlike drawings, we understand that there's a childish drawing style, but the content is clearly satire against Republicanism and Right-Wing Authoritarianism of all stripes. Suddenly the work is no longer naïve.

Michael Patterson-Carver is one of those artists who have a wonderful story about their career path. In 2007, in Portland, Oregon, Harrell Fletcher was going to do some shopping in a grocery store when he spied Patterson-Carver's work. The latter was selling drawings in front of the grocery store. Afterward Fletcher, an internationally known artist and an art professor at Portland State University, shown Patterson-Carver's work to Matthew Higgs, director of White Columns in New York.

White Columns gave Patterson-Carver his first show, which was warmly received by an audience that was mainly other artists. Most of the drawings were sold and Patterson-Carver, a self-taught artist, was actually able to improve his financial situation. Mirabile dictu!

At some point, Harrell Fletcher introduced Patterson-Carver to Laurel Gitlen, who was the owner of the gallery Small A Projects in Portland, Oregon, which moved in New York City about two years ago. Gitlen became a supporter of Patterson-Carver's work and has exhibited his new works since then.

In "Loose Lips Do Sink Ships," his new solo exhibition, Michael Patterson-Carver satirically depicts Americans living in the claws of the Republicans. His drawings, a mixture of ink, pencil and watercolor, are colorful and display plenty of text, which is the most direct way to express his political beliefs.

"Cointelpro"—Murder By Proxy, 2010
Ink, pencil and watercolor on paper - 14 1/4 x 20 inches (36.2 x 50.8 cm)

Republicans and their political spawn, the Tea Party, are presented like a new generation of Nazis holding sway over Americans who have different political opinions and divergent points of view of human rights.

The Republikaners in Republicanland give themselves the right to keep an eye on Pinko and Liberal activists, in the style of Big Brother in George Orwell's well-known book "1984." To put these non-conformists back on track, they are forced to live in a universe where a portrait of Hitler replaces Peace and Love symbols. Federal agents investigate and spy on everyone who seems to be interested in liberal thought.

Patterson-Carver received an Altoids Award at the New Museum in 2008 and since then, has been exhibited around the world, especially in Paris and Brussels.


Michael Patterson-Carver's exhibition "Loose Lips Do Sink Ships" is presented by Laurel Gitlen Gallery, 261 Broome Street, Manhattan, through February 18, 2011. Hours are Wednesday trough Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. [Eve Jegou]


Laurel Gilten Gallery

Adress: 261 Broome Street, Manhattan, NY
Opening Hours: Wednesday - Sunday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm
Price: Free
Official website:

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Eve Jégou, a native of Ile D'Oléron, France, is a contributor to the Museum Gazeeter.